How to become a horse/riding trainer? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 04-21-2013, 02:02 AM
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I also agree with those who have said to get a degree in something non equine related. Even if you don't end up using it, it does give you a base of knowledge outside of horses which allows you to connect better with clients and be able to make intelligible small talk at events in order to attract clients and sponsors. As well it can serve as a career to get a start up fund going, while you are working on expanding your equine business. I know many coaches who have a day job to support themselves, actually most in my area are not full time riders.

Speaking from a dressage point of view - college programs for riders are not held in much esteem. What stands up if you decide to be a "horse trainer" is real world riding and competitive experience in international rings. First you must learn to ride before you can expect to teach a horse or rider. If you yourself don't know the progression of training a horse, how can you expect to relay it to a horse or rider? This costs money, takes a lot of lessons and is a big investment into your future in horses.

I am just starting out coaching and riding for money. I myself have international riding experience and have trained my own horses, with the help of coaches, and of course have my own coach to defer to if any of my students or horses run into problems. So far I have been able to work through most of the issues that I have come across in my clients' horses and riding, but I do always encourage my clients to ride with my coach in clinics, or at least audit if it is not in the budget to ride. Even with my experience and the potential client base, it would be impossible for me to sustain myself by riding horses and giving lessons while still competing myself, having a truck and trailer, taking lessons, etc.. And so I have a day job, I organize horse shows and I teach for a small amount of income.

I imagine in 20 years if I am still interested in coaching and riding, at that point I will have experience at a WEG or Olympics and can then charge more, and hopefully sustain myself on lessons and clinics. But without that experience, at $40/45 minutes, there is no way I would be able to support myself without a real job.

Even with a lot of experience and riding internationally and being very good, it is very, very tough to make ends meet as a f/t horse trainer without someone else supporting you.
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They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #22 of 25 Old 04-21-2013, 02:43 AM
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$40 for 45 minutes?! Your students are very lucky.

Oh god, dressage ... I think that if you want to make money in dressage you should not even bother with university, you should just spend 4 years figuring out how to enchant very wealthy women of a certain age with several small jacket-wearing dogs into buying you horses and sending you to shows. Regardless of incredible talent, business sense, training prowess, etc. these dog-owning ladies, who also drive very large cars, tend to be what ultimately make everything possible for the international dressage riders I know :) Including my own trainers.
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post #23 of 25 Old 04-21-2013, 03:41 AM
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Lol yes the ladies haha. And they for the most part are the most kind generous people out there! They really do run the sport.

Yes my students are lucky, but I figure I'm learning how to teach and guinea pigging on them a little. I figure I'm about due for a rate increase though... Buy most of my students are not of the strictly dressage variety :P I would however like to get a young horse going in the near future.. need to find an owner first! I found a great horse all the way across the country hahaha
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post #24 of 25 Old 04-21-2013, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SlideStop View Post
Because you can become a psychologist, then do EAP. You can be a PT/OT/Speech therapist and do hippotherapy. There aren't any educational requirements or prerequisite to be a TR instructor. Anyone can just go out and study the guidelines and become path certified. Meanwhile EAP (at least one side of it) and hippotherapy require you to be a therapist of some sort. The whole goal is having something to fall back on. You can practice PT/OT/ST and psych in the real world. TR, no so much. Unless you go for special ed. PATH couldn't hurt though, but it doesn't require you to be a professional.
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Got it- thanks for clarifying. They would be much better off if they actually did have more formal requirements, in my opinion, or at least had a more regulated study course. I'm finishing my degree in elementary Ed, with an emphasis on reading instruction and special ed. Without that, I know I wouldn't be as effective as an instructor (I am certified through PATH). It bothers me that the standards aren't high enough sometimes; allows for instructors on extremely different ends of the spectrum knowledge wise. But I suppose there are positives and negatives to any organization like that.
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post #25 of 25 Old 04-21-2013, 08:26 PM
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I've wanted to be a horse trainer for as long as I can remember :) My very first riding instructor made me promise her I would not repeat her mistake and spend 2 years spending money learning something she could have just learned through experience with another trainer so she could have a job that didn't make enough money. She made me promise her if I wanted to train horses that I would get a degree in something else besides horse training so that I would always have a back up and horses would always be fun instead of just a job.
So I'm going to go to school and get a degree in accounting because that's something I enjoy doing and I know it'll always be there for me if I need it. But I definitely plan on training horses! I've been working with several trainers and trying to ride any horse anyone will let me on and I've finally worked up to the point where my trainer will have me get on her lesson horses if they're misbehaving which I was super proud about ;)
Anyway, good luck! but definitely plan on a back up career...
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